Endowment Assets per Student, 2015-16

In 2015-16, the 10% of students enrolled in the private doctoral universities with the highest endowments per student benefited from endowments averaging $1.15 million per full-time equivalent (FTE) student. The median endowment per FTE student in this sector was $55,200.

Figure 19: Endowment Assets per Full-Time Equivalent (FTE) Student at Four-Year Colleges and Universities by Decile, 2015-16

Notes & Sources 

NOTES: Endowment values are as of the end of FY16 based on data for 100 private nonprofit doctoral, 375 private nonprofit master’s, 400 private nonprofit bachelor’s, 187 public doctoral, 254 public master’s, and 97 public bachelor’s institutions. Average endowment per student by decile is calculated by ordering institutions by assets per student and dividing students in the sector into deciles. Total assets in institutions enrolling 10% of students are divided by the number of students in those schools.

SOURCES: NCES, IPEDS 2016 Finance data; calculations by the authors.

  • In 2015-16, endowment per FTE student at the 10 private nonprofit doctoral universities in the top decile ranged from $475,000 to $2.63 million. Assuming a 4.5% annual spending rate, this yields annual budget supplements ranging from about $21,000 to $118,000 per FTE student.
  • In 2015-16, the 10% of students at the wealthiest private nonprofit bachelor’s colleges benefited from endowments averaging $575,400 per FTE student. Median endowment per student in this sector was $48,200.
  • Average endowment per FTE student for the private nonprofit bachelor’s colleges in which the second 10% of students were enrolled was $218,200, yielding about $9,800 in budget supplement per student per year assuming a 4.5% annual spending rate.
  • In 2015-16, the 10% of students at the wealthiest public research universities attended institutions with average endowment assets of $116,530 per FTE student. The average for the second 10% of students was $49,510.